Glass Accessories 101: Bongs

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September 25, 2020

Also known as “bubblers,” “moofs,” or simply “water pipes,” bongs are almost synonymous with cannabis consumption and one of the most practical ways to smoke marijuana flower.

Glass bongs use water to cool smoke and filter out some of the harmful carcinogens. Most bongs are designed for use with dry herb, but some bongs come with adaptor kits so you can use them for concentrates. 

High-quality bong manufacturers typically use borosilicate glass, which can withstand extreme changes in temperature without breaking. Some bongs also have components made from quartz.

Anatomy of a Bong

Although bongs come in a wide array of shapes and sizes, they share specific characteristics, including:

  • The chamber is the main body of the bong, where the smoke gets filtered through the water.
  • The bowl is the receptacle where you place the buds for lighting.
  • The downstem is an angled cylinder of glass that houses the bowl. Glass bongs usually require you to lift the bowl from the stem to inhale the smoke.
  • The mouthpiece of a bong is typically just a wide opening on the top of the chamber.

Some bongs also come with a carb hole that must be covered during the draw and opened to inhale the smoke.

Types of Bongs

Straight Tube

The most basic bong consists of a straight glass tube with a flat base for stability. Straight tube bongs are ideal for fast rips, but they tip over more easily than bongs with wider bases.

Beaker and Bubble Base 

Beaker and bubble base bongs tend to be more stable than straight tube bongs. These larger based bongs allow for more filtration and cooling, but they tend to draw slower.

Bent-Neck Bongs

Bent-neck bongs help to prevent used bongwater from entering your mouth when you draw. 

Ice Bongs

Ice bongs have special notches to hold pieces of ice along the chamber. The ice helps to cool the water further, providing a smoother hit.

Scientific Bongs

Scientific bongs use various mechanisms to provide extra filtration. However, these types of bongs typically draw slower and can be harder to clean. Scientific bongs usually come in shapes that resemble laboratory equipment. 

Some examples are recyclers and percolators. Recyclers have two chambers to separate the dirty and clean water. Percolators come in a variety of forms, such as donuts, trees, eggs, discs, coils, honeycombs, and showerheads.

Artistic Bongs

Glass-blowers create artistic bongs from coloured borosilicate glass, often incorporating precious metals. Artistic bongs come in almost any form imaginable and act as conversation pieces and collector’s items as well as functional bongs.

Mini-Bongs

Mini-bongs can come in any of the above styles, but they offer a more portable size.

Bubblers

Bubblers are hybrids between a pipe and a bong. They also use water to filter the smoke, but you can carry them in your pocket like a pipe.

A high-quality glass bong can last many years when taken care of properly. You may want to store your bong when not in use. You can use salt and alcohol for weekly cleanings and a lemon/water solution to remove tough stains. Alternatively, you can purchase a commercial bong cleaner.

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